To what extent and in what ways are people ?fixed? and ?open to change??

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Charles Darwin was not only a pioneer in evolutionary psychology, also today’s theories of modern lifespan development draw on and are influenced by Darwin’s ideas. His functionalist perspective primarily focused on the reason for development of specific human characteristics over many generations, and therefore an enormously long timescale. However, inspired by the observations in the development his own son, Darwin also acknowledged that “an individual is the result of a gradual sequence of prior changes, both in a broad evolutionary sense and within individual’s own lifetime and further development and changes lies ahead” (Cooper and Roth, p.50, 2003). This notion provided the basis for other researchers to further explore the …show more content…
He himself called his area of interest “genetic epistemology” (Cooper and Roth, p.5, 2003). It aimed to identifiy how human delevop cognitive capacities.
Piaget recognized that errors that children made in intelligence tests apparently occurred systematically and used these errors to identfy the mental processes in achieving cognitive abilities. He identified four stages in which children intellectually adapt to their environment but, characteristically for the organismic approach, also believed that intellectual maturity is achieved as an end-product. He considered that with achievement of adulthood our cognitive abilities are fixed.
Today almost every adult is, voluntarily or forcefully, faced with new intellectual challenges throughout his/her life. Whether it is learning a new language or taking on a new job, enrolling at a long-distance

university or taking up courses in a particular area of interest or hobby, our adult intellect is still frequently required to adapt to changes and progress.
While Piaget failed to acknowledge learning processes of adults, he also did not account for external influences such as access to educational support, cultural and social surroundings as well as internal influences e.g. confidence, motivation that can very much influence the level of attainment. He has been criticised for his very simplistic approach of human intelligence and has neglected to
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